Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has quietly reorganized its debt division, including the creation of a position at the top — chief operating officer of the global leverage finance group — for John Urban, the company’s former head of bank loan trading.

Robert Wagner, who came to Goldman Sachs from Bankers Trust Corp. in summer 1999, now heads the origination side of the business, while Steve Hickey, who joined the firm last July, heads bank loan trading. R. Douglas Henderson, based in London, is the third global head of loan syndication.

David M. Solomon is the worldwide head of leveraged finance.

Before the firm carved out better-defined roles for Mr. Wagner and Mr. Hickey, the two had been working together as co-heads of loans, along with Doug Henderson and James Karp, who now heads European leveraged finance.

Edward Forst, who had been one of the heads of the global bank loan business, has since become the chairman of the capital committee for fixed income, currency, and commodities, and chief of staff.

A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, who said the bankers took their new roles in the second half of 2000, would not give a reason for the changes.

The New York investment firm started its syndicated loan practice in 1990 and has been pushing its way up the league tables since.

According to Thomson Financial Securities Data, Goldman Sachs jumped more than any other U.S. syndicated lender in the fourth quarter. It ranked sixth, with 4% market share and nine deals. In the year-earlier period it ranked 31st, with just two deals.

But last year overall, Goldman ranked ninth and garnered 1.6% of the market, the same as 1999.

The company has participated in some recent flops. Goldman Sachs could be sitting on loans out to Bridge Information Systems Inc., which has filed for bankruptcy protection, and Richmond, Va.-based AMF Bowling Inc., which recently was said to be on the verge of filing. According to Thompson Financial, Goldman co-led syndicated loans to both companies and could still be holding a portion of each.

Goldman Sachs, along with Bank of Montreal Trust, Scotia-Bank of Nova Scotia and Barclays Capital, lent Bridge Information $825 million in May 1998, followed by a $950 loan with the same group minus Barclays in June 1999, according to Thomson Financial.

Goldman and FleetBoston Financial co-led a $762.9 million loan package to AMF Bowling in June 1999, according to Thomson Financial.

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